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Rise of the planet of the lockscreens

Mike Elgan | July 21, 2014
The humble lockscreen is about to become the most important interface on your smartphone, says columnist Mike Elgan.

The lockscreen used to be a dumb, low-function feature designed simply to put up a screen to prevent people from seeing what's on your phone. Increasingly, however, what's on your phone is showing up on your lockscreen.

While gadget enthusiasts have had third-party options for loading their lockscreens with features for a while, the next versions of both Android and iOS will mainstream the use of lockscreens for all kinds of creative features. Everyone will suddenly be using their lockscreens heavily.

That's going to trigger an app war. Apps that don't appear on the lockscreen will be relegated to second-class status. Therefore, many app makers will be clamoring to support lockscreen functionality — and they'll be trying to convince you to grant permission for it.

Get ready. The world is about to get turned upside-down. The dumb, nearly useless lockscreen is about to become the most prime real estate on a phone. And the apps not on that lockscreen will be mostly out of sight, out of mind.


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